Thomas Tuchel has expressed his excitement ahead of facing Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals after this morning's draw.
Tuchel’s Blues defeated Real Madrid 3-1 on aggregate in the semi-final stages of last season’s competition, after goals from Timo Werner and Mason Mount in the second leg at Stamford Bridge ensured we reached the final in Porto.
This time Chelsea will face Carlo Ancelotti’s men rather than Zinedine Zidane's, with the 13-time Champions League winners currently sat 10 points clear at the top of La Liga.
The boss has spoken of the ‘tough challenge’ that awaits his side in the next round, especially considering fans will be inside the Santiago Bernabeu, unlike last season’s behind closed doors match.
‘Tough one. The challenge cannot be much higher than playing the second leg in the Bernabeu with spectators. It is a big challenge and also there’s big excitement around this match and fixture. We know what is coming and it will be a tough challenge.’
Chelsea will face Manchester City or Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals if they were to beat Real Madrid, and Tuchel has said he is happy to avoid an English side in the quarter-finals of European competition.
‘Not important [to avoid English opposition] but it is a European night and it is always nice to play European teams, and not play English teams at this stage, because you play so many times in domestic competition.'
On whether fans should be allowed to attend the match despite possible sanctions restricting the club from doing so, Tuchel hopes there can be a solution reached that suits every party.
‘It would be a disadvantage [not having any fans]. In general, this game is for the spectators. The game can change so much with spectators, so hopefully we find a solution. Everybody at the club and on the board will fight for a chance. I am not sure how big the possibility is. These games, any game, is for the spectators. It’s a different game when the crowd is in the stadium.'